Handmade products are highly in demand. And there are tons of ways to sell these original creations, from online marketplaces to local craft stores. If you’re interested in starting a DIY business, here are some handmade business ideas you can start now.
What is a handmade business?
A handmade business is one that sells products made by hand or designed by an independent artisan. There are tons of handmade goods that fall into this category, from furniture to prints.
Why You Should Consider Starting Your Own Handmade Business
If you’re interested in starting a business in 2023, here’s why you should consider selling handmade products:
Creative expression: Many handmade shop owners turn their hobbies into a business. So you can enjoy expressing your creativity while turning a profit.
Low upfront costs: Handmade shops are among the best businesses to start with no money. You may just need a few basic ingredients or supplies and a website or account on marketplace sites like Etsy.
Ability to scale: You can easily start a handmade business with just a few items, but then grow over time.
Easily reach customers: Marketplace sites like Etsy help you easily connect with interested buyers. Then you can build an audience of recurring customers over time.
Location flexibility: There are tons of things to make and sell from home. Sellers can even travel and enjoy time freedom while running this type of business.
Top Handmade Business Ideas
If you’re interested in selling your original creations online or at a local craft store, a handmade business model may be right for you. Here are some business ideas to consider.
1. Jewelry Making Business
Jewelry makers can offer a huge range of products, from beaded jewelry to those made with precious metals. You can start small and then grow your own jewelry line over time.
2. Fashion Designer
Start your own line of hand-sewn clothing, like dresses, tops, or entire outfits.
3. T-Shirt Designer
You could also specialize in customized t-shirts. There are many printing services you can use to print your own designs on demand or in bulk.
4. Woodworking Business
Those skilled with woodworking tools can sell a huge array of products, from furniture to birdhouses.
5. Toy Maker
Offer handmade toys like plush animals, wood puzzles, or knit dolls.
6. Knit Goods Seller
If you’re a skilled knitter, there’s a nearly endless selection of products you can sell, including hats, scarves, blankets, and socks.
7. Print Seller
If you create any sort of original art, sell prints of your work at a low price point. You can even offer digital files that customers can print on their own.
However, many artists also choose to sell original versions of their work. These are generally priced higher, but can only be sold one time.
9. Custom Illustrator
Artists may also offer custom portraits or drawings that each buyer can select or change. For example, you could draw people’s pets or create cartoon versions of families.
Calligraphers can sell signs or prints of their letters. Many also this skill as a service for things like wedding invitations.
11. Handbag Maker
Create your own line of purses and bags out of fabric, leather, or other materials.
12. Leather Goods Business
If you’re skilled at working with leather, there are a variety of products you can sell, including wallets, watch bands, and bags.
13. Scented Candle Maker
Candles are popular gifts, and can come in a huge array of scents and designs.
14. Stationery Business
Design your own greeting cards and paper products to sell. You can offer originals or create prints of your work.
15. Ornament Maker
Create your own custom holiday ornaments to offer around the Christmas season. Personalized options where customers can add a name or date tend to be especially popular.
16. Bead Maker
Make your own beads using hand-blown glass, clay, or even felt. Then sell them in bulk to other crafters.
Create your own quilts or offer customizable products. You’ll need a sewing machine and lots of fabric, but these products can command high prices.
18. Basket Weaver
Weave baskets using natural materials like reeds, bamboo, and seagrass.
19. Gift Basket Service
You can also arrange various handmade products, foods, and gift items into gift baskets.
20. Screen Printing Business
Use screen printing supplies to add your own custom designs to various products, like hats, bags, and mugs.
21. Scrapbooking Business
Use scrapbooking materials to create custom pages for customers, or offer supplies they can use to make their own designs.
22. Pet Accessories Business
Pet owners are always looking for unique products for their furry friends. Offer handmade toys, outfits, or pet collars.
23. Digital Product Designer
There are a variety of digital products you can sell online, like planners, signs, or spreadsheets.
24. Sculpture Artist
Create 3D artwork out of various materials and sell it online or through local galleries.
25. Ceramics Business
If you enjoy working with clay, create unique products like bowls and mugs to sell to customers.
26. Candy Maker
There are many different candy products you can make by hand and then sell online or through local bakeries or gift shops.
You could also offer baked goods like cookies and pastries. They will need to be packaged fully if you plan to offer them online.
28. Landscape Photographer
Take photos of beautiful landscapes and then sell prints of your work online.
29. Graphic Designer
Use graphic design software to create digital artwork that you can sell as prints. You could also offer custom designs by working with clients one-on-one.
30. Weaving Business
Use yarn and other fibers to create woven artwork or wall hangings for customers to display in their homes.
31. Hair Accessories Shop
Make handmade hair accessories like bows and headbands. These small items can easily be packaged and shipped.
32. Dried Flower Artist
Collect flowers and leaves that you can dry or press to create one-of-a-kind artwork.
33. Mixed Media Artist
Mixed media art includes various materials combined to make one collage or piece of art.
34. Furniture Upcycling
Take old pieces of furniture and use paint, upholstery, and new materials to make them into something fun and unique.
35. Floral Designer
Create bouquets and floral designs to sell or deliver locally. Many florists also work on special events like weddings.
36. Men’s Accessories Shop
Many handmade accessory businesses focus on women’s styles. However, you could carve out a unique niche by selling men’s accessories like cuff links and watch bands.
37. Kids’ Clothing Shop
Kids’ clothing is also a popular niche that is always in demand.
38. Phone Case Business
Design unique phone cases that customers can purchase to protect and upgrade their devices.
39. Book Binder
Use board, adhesive, and heat tools to create professional-looking books or journals. If you’re a writer, you can even hand-make your very own book to sell.
40. Alterations Service
If you’re skilled with a needle and thread, offer alterations and repair services to people in your local area.
41. Studio Photographer
You can also sell photos or provide photography services in a local studio. These often include portraits of families, couples, seniors, or pets.
42. 3D Printing Business
You can print just about anything using 3D printers and various resins. Create your own digital files and then sell either the products or the designs.
43. Bath Products Shop
There are tons of bath and beauty products you can make from scratch, including bath salts, scrubs, and lotions.
44. Digital Photo Business
Many photographers also sell digital versions of their photos. You can either use stock photo sites or just sell the digital files on your own site.
45. Holiday Decor Business
For the more festive entrepreneurs, consider building a handmade business around holiday decor, making parties and supplies a main selling feature of your shop.
46. Pattern Maker
Crafters often use patterns for sewing, knitting, and crocheting products. If you make your own patterns, consider selling the digital files to other crafters.
47. Stamp and Stencil Business
Make stamps or stencils out of rubber or plastic and market them to crafters for use in their own projects.
48. Hand-Dyed Yarn Shop
You can also spin and/or dye your own yarn using wool and other fibers.
49. Fabric Supplier
Or design your own fabric or dye textiles that you can offer to others for sewing projects.
50. Craft Supply Shop
You can even combine multiple craft supplies into one shop and offer a variety to those interested in trying multiple hobbies.
How do you start your own creative business?
Once you decide to start your own handmade business, it’s time to turn your vision into action. Each business will require its own specific supplies and steps. However, here’s a basic guide for how to start a craft business:
Determine your niche: Consider what products you will sell and what sets your shop apart from others.
Choose a selling method: Do you plan to sell products online or in person? Think about what stores or marketplaces you might use.
Perfect your craft: Practice how you plan to make each product. Develop prototypes if necessary.
Create a price list: How much do you plan to sell each product for? Consider the cost of supplies, your time, and other business expenses like your website and marketing.
Market your work: Share your work with potential customers, either through online ads and marketing or locally.
What handmade items sell the best?
People who shop for handmade items are often looking for special gifts or items that will last. Quality, timeless crafts like woodworking, quilting, leatherworking, and glass blowing are consistently in high demand. Customized products like initialed necklaces or bags also tend to do well.
What is the easiest handmade business idea to start?
The easiest handmade business to start depends on your existing skills. But there are several ideas you can start with just some digital designs. For example, you can customize t-shirts using print-on-demand services and have your products shipped directly from the printer to your customers.
Is selling handmade crafts profitable?
Yes, there are plenty of things to make and sell for profit. Handmade businesses often don’t require a lot of overhead expenses. You just need a few different materials and the ability to market to specific customers.
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